ITZY makes first stop in Manila for world tour

Charmie Joy Pagulong - The Philippine Star
ITZY makes first stop in Manila for world tour
From left: Yeji, Lia, Ryujin, Chaeryeong and Yuna of ITZY during the press event at Glorietta 4 in Makati City on Friday before their 1st World Tour: CHECKMATE at SM MOA Arena over the weekend.
Photos from Live Nation Philippines Facebook

The members of the South Korean girl group ITZY were “surprised” to see the huge crowd that attended the press event held last Friday at the Glorietta 4 in Makati City. The K-pop artists also expressed their gratitude for the Filipino fans, also called MIDZYS, who have been supporting them since they debuted in 2019.

The fans patiently waited for the quintet to appear on stage and when they did, they couldn’t contain their excitement and were screaming throughout the program. The loud cheers and intense energy were felt as Yeji, Lia, Ryujin, Chaeryeong and Yuna answered all the questions from the press, made sassy poses for the cameras and shared some details of their tour during the press event.

“We were very surprised,” remarked Lia. “We are so grateful. You guys can’t imagine how surprised we were today when we came here today — seeing you guys, filling up this whole place. We heard that this mall is very big but we didn’t expect this much people waiting for us here. We can’t wait to be at the concert with more MITZYS. So, thank you so much for waiting for us the whole time. We will make sure that you will have a great time at the concert.”

“This was our first official schedule here in Manila and you guys made it wonderful for us,” she added.

Yeji chimed in, “We are very, very thankful that you are here welcoming us. I miss you so much.”

The press event was followed by a two-night sold-out concert last weekend at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena as part of their 1st World Tour: CHECKMATE. Checkmate is the title of their fifth extended play (EP) with Sneakers as the lead single. Last November, they released their sixth EP titled Cheshire.

They were “very happy” to start the new year with their international fans. “We are really, really happy that the Philippines is our first stop for our world tour. We hope that from now on, with our Manila fans and the fans worldwide, we will have more time to spend together,” uttered Yeji.

As they embarked on their first world tour, Lia said that the journey has been “amazing so far.”

“I’m pretty sure it’s gonna be amazing,” shared Lia. “We have some great memories… It has been so fun traveling to different countries and getting to feel different vibes from different countries because all the MITZYS were a bit different in a good way. So, it was very fun getting to know them and enjoy our music with them.”

ITZY has been in the music industry for three years. The girl group has been reaping music awards, including Rookie of the Year at the 34th Golden Disc Awards, New Artist of the Year at the 9th Gaon Chart Music Awards and 2019 Melon Music Awards. They also won Best New Female Artist at the 2019 Mnet Asian Music Awards and the New Artist Award at the 29th Seoul Music Awards.

“For the past years, we received so much love, not only here in the Philippines but globally,” noted Lia. With that, they “are very thankful and grateful.”

“We would like to give back all this love and energy with the bigger energy on stage which we are definitely going to show tomorrow and the next day at the CHECKMATE concert. And with more songs, I guess we want to continue sending out healthy messages through our songs… and enjoy our music throughout,” she continued.

In terms of the chemistry as a group, “it comes out naturally” during rehearsals and shows’ preparations, Ryujin told The STAR. For their Manila concert, they did practice a few Filipino phrases.

The last time that ITZY came here was in December 2019 at the New Frontier Theater and their favorite memory from that visit was when the Filipino fans sang a birthday song for Yuna.

Ryujin recalled, “The Filipino fans celebrated Yuna’s birthday and they sang a birthday song for her. She cried. It was really a good memory and a heartwarming memory for us.”

Given the chance and time, Chaeryeong said she would love to try halo-halo and go to Boracay. “Please take me there,” she told the audience.

As for Yeji, she learned Filipino words as well, “Salamat po” and “Mahal namin kayo.” Obviously, the Filipino fans love them back, immensely.

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